Clay Aiken and Ruben Studdard, the two contestants who battled for the "American Idol" title in 2003, announced today plans for a co-headlining summer tour. Studdard, who was voted the winner, and Aiken, the close runner up, will play dates on the East Coast and the midwest, kicking off the trek on Jul. 23 on Asheville, NC and winding up Aug. 14 in Biloxi, MS.
The two former adversaries, who have shared a seven year friendship throughout their post-Idol careers, are touring together for the first time ever. The two singers plan to perform separately and together, and promise surprise guests at different tour stops.
"I couldn't ask for a better tour mate. To be able to share the stage with him again is so exciting," said Aiken in a statement. "He is such a talented artist. He inspires me daily and I think that respect and admiration will truly be reflected in our show."
"It is truly a blessing and an honor to be on the stage with my friend," Studdard added. "The relationship that we have built over these past eight years will definitely translate into a great show for our fans. And I'm really looking forward to singing the timeless classics every night."
Here the the Clay Aiken and Ruben Studdard tour dates:
Jul. 23: Asheville, NC (Biltmore Estates)
Jul. 24: Jacksonville, FL (Florida Theater)
Jul. 25: Melbourne, FL (King Center For Arts)
Jul. 26: Clearwater, FL (Ruth Eckerd Hall)
Jul. 29: Snoqualmie WA (Mountain View Plaza)
Jul. 31: Reno, NV (Silver Legacy Casino)
Aug. 1: Los Angeles, CA (Club Nokia)
Aug. 3: Milwaukee, WI (Potowanami Casino)
Aug. 5: Windsor, ON (Caesar's)
Aug. 6: Chautauqua NY (Chautauqua Institution Amphitheatre)
Aug. 7: Mashantucket, CT (MGM Grand Foxwoods)
Aug. 8: Lancaster, PA (American Music Theater)
Aug. 10: Hampton Beach, NH (HB Casino)
Aug. 11: New York, NY (Hammerstein)
Aug. 12: Verona, NY (Turning Stone Casino)
Aug. 13: Hammond, IN (Horseshoe)
Aug. 14: Biloxi, MS (Beau Rivage)